Martin Schoeller@martinschoeller

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Martin: “You and your mom must be tight, sleeping in a tent together?”
Donald: “Yeah it's cool. It's nice having somebody out here with me.”
M: “I've read that there are close to fifty thousand people without housing in LA county. Just in LA.”
D: “Wow.”
M: “It's crazy, right? A whole town on the move basically. What is the hardest part of camping on the street?”
D: “Lack of a shower. It's hard to stay clean. It's kinda disgusting, a lot of places. And finding a restroom 'cause nobody allows you to use their restroom unless you're a paying customer. And cops harass you a lot.”
M: “Cops come and ask you to break down your tent?”
D: “Yeah. Tell you, you have to move sixty gallons worth of stuff but you can't have any wheels to do it.”
M: “You can't have wheels to do it?”
D: “They took our shopping carts and threw them away while they were telling us we had to pack our stuff up and leave. Like... hmm, cool, we'll get right on that. We're not jumping through their hoops it seems like. So they're gettin' angry 'cause we wanna do things our way instead of their way.”
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Please support the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition to help people like Donald get back on their feet. Donate or volunteer today @gwhfc. Link and details in bio.
#martinschoeller #portraits #sycamoreandromaine #street #photography #streetphotography #feedthehungry #fighthunger #GWHFC #volunteer #give #giveback #nonprofit #losangeles #westhollywood #hollywood #communityservice #community #activism #homeless #makeadifference #filmphotography #filmisnotdead

West Hollywood, California
30

Martin: “What happened that you ended up living on the streets for almost 20 years?”
Anthony: “CIA. Me and the CIA bumped heads, 'cause I tried to take the CIA to court.”
M: “What did the CIA do to you?”
A: “This is the New York CIA. The CIA got my mom in the early '60s. Not purposely to be on my mom but to see what the blacks were doing with all those movements, the black movements. My mom had two jobs for Chase Manhattan and Federal Reserve at the same time in NewYork. And so they did a background check on my mom and found somethin' they didn't like and they wanted my mom out but they didn't wanna fire her, they just wanted my mom to leave the job. She was dealing with the money and they just didn't feel comfortable. But she was one of the best workers prior to the CIA steppin' in. Well, she was rather bull headed, wouldn't leave the job. So they said well okay, what's the the next best thing to get to my mom since she's not adhering? Her kid. And that's when I started to tell my mom, I was startin' to see things and things startin' to happen.”
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Please support the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition to help people like Anthony get back on their feet. Donate or volunteer today @gwhfc. Link and details in bio.
#martinschoeller #portraits #sycamoreandromaine #street #photography #streetphotography #feedthehungry #fighthunger #GWHFC #volunteer #give #giveback #nonprofit #losangeles #westhollywood #hollywood #communityservice #community #activism #homeless #makeadifference #filmphotography #filmisnotdead

West Hollywood, California
49

Martin: “How are you doing?”
Alberto: “I think we're doing fine. I'm doing fine. I mean, I'm breathing, you're breathing, he's breathing, you know. You know? In God's hands.”
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Please support the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition to help people like Alberto get back on their feet. Donate or volunteer today @gwhfc. Link and details in bio.
#martinschoeller #portraits #sycamoreandromaine #street #photography #streetphotography #feedthehungry #fighthunger #GWHFC #volunteer #give #giveback #nonprofit #losangeles #westhollywood #hollywood #communityservice #community #activism #homeless #makeadifference #filmphotography #filmisnotdead

West Hollywood, California
33

Martin: “Where are you from?”
Colleen: “Originally? All over. I mean I was born in Torrance, I lived in Linwood, South Gate, San Gabriel Valley. I became homeless in the end of 2007.”
M: “You’ve been out on the street that long?”
C: “I was off and on for eight years and then I got housing but I recently lost my housing and I’m back out on the streets while I’m looking for another place.”
M: “What happened?”
C: “Just drugs.”
M: “What kind of drugs did you get into?”
C: “Speed. Meth”
M: “That seems to be the number one drug these days. Crystal meth. People say it’s not addictive, like heroin…”
C: “Well it’s not physically addictive, no, but it does something to the… you know? There’s nothing physical actual like heroin or pills. There’s a lot of things that you can become actually physically addicted to. Alcohol, too. But meth, you don’t. But it’s psychological and I think that’s almost just as bad really.”
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Please support the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition to help people like Colleen get back on their feet. Donate or volunteer today @gwhfc. Link and details in bio.
#martinschoeller #portraits #sycamoreandromaine #street #photography #streetphotography #feedthehungry #fighthunger #GWHFC #volunteer #give #giveback #nonprofit #losangeles #westhollywood #hollywood #communityservice #community #activism #homeless #makeadifference #filmphotography #filmisnotdead

West Hollywood, California
51

Martin: “What brings you here?”
Brandon: “I’ve been homeless for the past year and a half.”
M: “What happened?"
B: “I was a trucker, I got laid off, and my roommate at the time had called the cops and lied and said I threatened her with a gun and they came in with guns and whatnot and arrested me. And they found out, they caught her in a lie. But I was sub-renting from her, her name was on the lease.”
M: “What do you like to do now?"
B: “I volunteer a lot to help feed the homeless with the Food Coalition."
M: “How about your parents ?"
B: “My mom lives in Santa Monica. My dad lives in Utah."
M: “Are they helping you out a little bit?"
B: “Here and there. They’re supportive for the most part."
M: “Can they help you with housing or with some money?"
B: “No. My mom herself is homeless. She lives in a van though, in Santa Monica."
M: “Did you grow up with her, living in the van?"
B: “No. I grew up separate. With my grandparents and in foster care from the age of six." M: “A lot of people here grew up in foster care."
B: “Yeah. The system."
M: “Was your foster care experience as bad as it is in so many cases?"
B: “Yeah, kill or be killed."
M: “How many different places did you grow up in?"
B: “I went to seven different high schools so probably seven to ten different places."
M: “And your dad?"
B: “I never knew him." Please support the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition to help people like Brandon get back on their feet. Donate or volunteer today @gwhfc. Link and details in bio.
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#martinschoeller #portraits #sycamoreandromaine #street #photography #streetphotography #feedthehungry #fighthunger #GWHFC #volunteer #give #giveback #nonprofit #losangeles #westhollywood #hollywood #communityservice #community #activism #homeless #makeadifference #filmphotography #filmisnotdead

West Hollywood, California
94

Martin: “How are you doing tonight?”
Teddy: “I’m fine. I’m here, that’s half the battle, right?”
M: “I like your attitude.”
T: “Hopefully things will work out. I’ve got a job interview on Monday.”
M: “What kind of job?”
T: “For the city, maintenance, the county actually.”
M: “I hope it works out. Many jobs pay so little that it’s even hard to afford an apartment.”
T: “Right, yeah, that’s the problem, the apartments out here are insane, even if you move to the bad areas, you’re still looking at twelve hundred... you know. Depends how big your family is."
M: "Where is your family?”
T: “My wife works part-time, barely part time. But that money goes to babysitting and things for the kids.”
M: “You don’t live with your family?”
T: “She’s staying with a coworker and they’re tight. Yeah, it’s crazy the way things are. I’ll just stay here on the street."
M: “How old are your kids?”
T: “Nine, six and five. The five-year-old will be six on the 24th, Saturday, and the six-year-old will be seven on October the second. So for about a week they’re the same age."
M: “So you see them all the time?”
T: “Yeah, yeah. Oh yeah. Every day. I was there earlier today. My situation is different, I just need a job. A lot of people out here may have some drug problems or medical problems. That’s not who I am.”
M: “That’s what I want to show with this project, everybody on the street is different."
T: “Yeah, I just need a job. Yeah that’s my only thing. One job and a paycheck.”
M: “I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you.”
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Please support the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition to help people like Teddy get back on their feet. Donate or volunteer today @gwhfc. Link and details in bio.
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#martinschoeller #portraits #sycamoreandromaine #street #photography #streetphotography #feedthehungry #fighthunger #GWHFC #volunteer #give #giveback #nonprofit #losangeles #westhollywood #hollywood #communityservice #community #activism #homeless #makeadifference #filmphotography #filmisnotdead

Hollywood
80

Martin: “Where do you live?”
Rodney: “I’ve been living in my truck for four years. I decided to keep money in my pocket instead of paying rent downtown. I found out about this place [the food line @GWHFC]. So I threw away some pride. I have money, I come here and eat food."
M: [Noticing some scars] “You’ve been shot?”
R: “Oh yeah, yeah. I had nine surgeries. They shot me and run me over. I got shot here and this one, the third shot I ducked. I watched the car run over my leg. I was already shot in my Achilles Tendon. I couldn’t feel it. I don’t know if it was mistaken identity. I don’t hang out with them. Maybe I was just a new face downtown. Everybody knows everybody’s face, you gotta fit in. I had to tell so many dudes, ‘Hey man, when you see me, don’t hit me up with a proposition. I’m not sellin’ and I’m not buyin’. I don’t do drugs. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke cigarettes. I’m just down here to eat.' They gang-banging out here, that’s what they doin’."
M: “You never got into it?”
R: “No, no. I had family that I watched get into it. Why do I want to go out and prove to a bunch of suckers what I’m gonna do for them? I’m doin’ stuff for me and my kids. I don’t have nothin’ to prove to other Black men or any other race. And that’s the problem with Blacks, they think they have something to prove. I choose to be homeless, I sleep in my truck goin’ on four years. I got three IRA accounts. One for myself. I got two kids. I got a bank account. I got money in it. I threw my pride away long time ago. Pride is something that nobody needs. Pride is only needed at a certain time."
M: "Do you still talk to the mother of your kids?"
R: “No she took them kids and left me. I found out the oldest kid wasn’t mine. I don’t know, I guess she was using me.”
M: “Where is she now?”
R: “Living with her mother and with the kids.”
M: “Do you see your kids sometimes?”
R: “I go to their school and see ’em every Friday and I take ’em to the movies every Wednesday. I been there since day one. That’s the only reason I’m still in Los Angeles, ‘cause I’m waiting 'till they get old enough.”

Hollywood
123

Martin: "How long have you been out on the street?"
Catherine: "Like two years. A little over two years."
M: "Do you live in a shelter at times?"
C: "No we don’t do shelters."
M: "Who is we? You and …?"
C: "My daughter. She’s next actually, you get to meet her next."
M: "You guys have a tent?"
C: "Yes, we have a ten foot by ten foot tent. We lived in these apartments in Arizona and they were just filled with bed bugs and cockroaches. We were gettin’ eaten up by bugs. Worse being in an apartment than being out here on the street. And if we get bed bugs, we can take our clothing and our bedding and throw it in a washer in hot water and really hot dryer and get rid of the bed bugs. You can’t do that with your apartment. They don’t make ‘em so you can stick ‘em in the dryer. [laughing]"
M: “Where were you before?"
C: “We were living up in Pocatello, Idaho and workin’ for Heinz but they downsized and they sold that up there and closed it. They put over seven hundred people out of work out there closing that plant down."
M: "What kind of job did you have there?"
C: "It was factory work. Heinz Frozen Food. They closed that one.” .
Please support the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition to help people like Catherine get back on their feet. Donate or volunteer today @gwhfc. Link and details in bio.
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#martinschoeller #portraits #sycamoreandromaine #street #photography #streetphotography #feedthehungry #fighthunger #GWHFC #volunteer #give #giveback #nonprofit #losangeles #westhollywood #hollywood #communityservice #community #activism #homeless #makeadifference #filmphotography #filmisnotdead

West Hollywood, California
56

Martin: "Where did you grow up?"
Kosher: "Up until nine, down by third and LaBrea. But after nine years old, in Israel."
M: "Do you speak Hebrew?"
K: “Yes.”
M: “Do you still have family back in Israel?”
K: “No. All my family is here but I was sent there because no schools would accept me here.”
M: “So they sent you to school in Israel?"
K: “Yeah. My family is Hasidic Jew."
M: "Do they know that you’re out here?"
K: “Yeah they want nothin’ to do with me. Cause they seen the violence in me and because of drugs.”
M: “Chrystal?”
K: “It really was mainly violence, they see what I’m capable of when people get me to the point where I just explode. But then also crystal, yeah.”
M: “What would drive you to violence?”
K: “Honestly really just people being disrespectful and people stealing from me. Honestly I’ve been violent all my life, Nine was the first incident.”
M: “Do you know where that comes from, that violence?”
K: “Nope.”
M: “Have you been to a therapist or talked with somebody?”
K: “Yeah I don’t trust them anymore.”
M: “I can’t see you being violent; you look like a nice guy.”
K: “That’s what tricks people. I’ve been in the Israeli Military. I’m trained. People don’t see me as being able to fight or anything but I can."
M: “You’ve been in the military?"
K: “The Israeli Military."
M: “Do they drug test you in the military ?"
K: “Ironically Israel is where I started using crystal. I started using crystal and half the soldiers, I’m telling you, half the soldiers use it.”
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Please support the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition to help people like Kosher get back on their feet. Donate or volunteer today @gwhfc. Link and details in bio.
#martinschoeller #portraits #sycamoreandromaine #street #photography #streetphotography #feedthehungry #fight

Hollywood California America
82

Martin: “Where are you from?”
William: “I’m from Chicago.”
M: “How long have you been out here?"
W: “I’ve been out here for three years.”
M: “Chicago winters are rough.”
W: “Yeah, but they ain’t got a lot of room for us all here. Where are you from, England?”
M: “Germany. And what brings you out here to L.A.?”
W: “Oh, the sunny weather and the women. Do you like it here?”
M: “I like it. I live in New York. I come out here once in a while. Are you living on the streets these days?”
W: “Yes.”
M:”How are you holding up?"
W: "It’s like anything. It’s what you make of it. If you make it bad, it’s going to be bad.”
M: “Do you come to this food line a lot?”
W: “Oh no, no, no, no, no.”
M: "It’s really good food.”
W: “You eat it?”
M: “Yeah oh yeah, I even cook it sometimes.”
W: "You say oh yeah...[laughter] You cooked it, for real?”
M: "I cook it sometimes too. Yeah, all fresh ingredients, all made from scratch."
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Please support the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition to help people like William get back on their feet. Donate or volunteer today @gwhfc. Link and details in bio.
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#martinschoeller #portraits #sycamoreandromaine #street #photography #streetphotography #feedthehungry #fighthunger #GWHFC #volunteer #give #giveback #nonprofit #losangeles #westhollywood #hollywood #communityservice #community #activism #homeless #makeadifference #filmphotography #filmisnotdead

West Hollywood, California
31

Martin: “Alright Casey, sorry for the long wait."
C: "Don’t apologize. I appreciate it."
M: “Do you come to this food line sometimes?"
C: “This is just my second time here. I’m recently homeless and I’ve only recently found out about these resources."
M: “What happened?”
C: “Combination of a divorce, a hospitalization, diagnosis of a heart condition, and economic job situation."
M: “What is your job?” C: “I’m an attorney. Graduated top of my class from USC. My undergraduate degree was from UCLA, also with honors in philosophy. I was a partner in a huge established law firm. I’ve been practicing law for twenty-four years. The legal market underwent an upheaval so that it was really shaken up, a lot of people lost their jobs. There’s a glut of lawyers on the street now and someone my age finds it very difficult to be slotted into a firm. If you were to tell me that I would find myself sleeping at a bus stop or standing in a food line I would have laughed at you, I would’ve told you you were insane. It’s so difficult to understand that most of us live from paycheck to paycheck whether we realize it or not. And if you find yourself without your spouse, without your family, you find yourself separated for even an instant and that tether, it breaks, it cuts, and with no safety net, you end up like me. The very least, the reason, when I heard what you were doing, [very emotional] I think my life is over, I’m losing hope so quickly it’s not even funny. The least I could do, I thought, was maybe be a signpost to somebody, look at me and don’t let it happen to you. I don’t know what else I have to offer in this world.”
M: “Oh man. I’m so sorry.” C: “I’m sorry”
M: “No, no, no... it's.. so many people seem numb that I photograph.” C: “They’ve given up.The longer you’re out on the street, the longer you find yourself sleeping like this and eating like this, the harder it is to come back. And there comes a point in time where you can no longer be socialized. I’ve seen it. Where no matter what you do there is no more, there is no solution to the problem. And I’m afraid for every night more that I spend on the street that I’m going further away."

Hollywood
223